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First iPhone 5s Waterproof Case: A ZipLoc Bag



The iPhone 5s is still a fairly new device, so there aren’t very many accessories for it just yet, and this includes waterproof cases. We should be seeing waterproof cases for the iPhone 5s pop up sooner or later, but it’ll be a little tricky given that the iPhone 5s has that nifty new Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Since most waterproof cases of yore are simply just a rubber seal that covers up the home button, the same can’t be done with the iPhone 5s.

Instead, case manufacturers will have to think of a clever way of waterproofing the fingerprint sensor, while still keeping it functional. So far, we’ve heard from a few case companies who are working on iPhone 5s-specific waterproof cases, but nothing has been released yet as far as that goes (an update to iOS 7 also won’t waterproof your phone, no matter how convincing the fake ads are). In the meantime, we figured out a cheap and quick way to keep your phone waterproof, while still keeping the fingerprint sensor usable. All it involves is a ZipLoc bag.

This little life hack has been around for awhile now: Put your phone in a ZipLoc bag to protect it from getting wet, or keep sand out of it if you’re going to the beach. Luckily, though, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s works flawlessly through the plastic of the ZipLoc bag, as demonstrated in our own video:

However, there is a catch: It only works when the bag and your fingers are dry. Once the ZipLoc bag and your fingers have been compromised with water, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor doesn’t work at all. It’s a bit of an interesting twist, given that the point of the ZipLoc bag is to protect it from water, so you’ll most likely be using it when it’s wet, but the touch screen will still work flawlessly, no matter the conditions.

With that said, it’s still a good trick to use if you have an iPhone 5s and are going hiking or running for the day and might come across some rain. In these instances, it’s always a good idea to protect your phone somehow, and while the fingerprint sensor won’t work when it’s wet, you’ll still be able to unlock your phone by entering in your passcode, obviously.

Let us know how this worked for you in the comments below, and feel free to send us more ideas on how to waterproof the new iPhone 5s.



  1. Bryan Paschke

    09/30/2013 at 5:11 pm

    I spend a lot of time around water as a kayaker and I can tell you that ziploc baggies are THE best way to get a new phone! They’re neither durable enough nor waterproof enough to entrust a $600 phone to. I lost a phone to a leaky ziploc and I’ve dealt with many others who have had the same thing happen. This is GREAT advice…for people who want to sell more iPhones.

  2. John McCombs

    10/04/2013 at 1:35 pm

    I love my otterbox armor series.. The lack of fingerprint scanner functionality with a waterproof case is one of the main reasons that I did not upgrade to the 5s. I will stick to my 5 for now and just see what happens with the 5s waterproofing.

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